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Psychology essay-Discuss evidence which suggests that physiological mechanism and emotion are co related.

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Introduction

5. Psychology Essay-Discuss evidence which suggests that physiological mechanism and emotion are co related. During the 19th century, psychologists started to think about behaviour through a physiological perspective. One of the first was Charles Darwin who studied emotions alone through a biological perspective. This was the foundation of forming certain areas of science such as neuroanatomy. The biological origin of emotion was also through William James in 1884 who briefly suggested that emotions are functions of sensory and motor areas of the brain. This theory was then supported further by Cannon and Bard in the 20th century who showed that emotional reactions require the use of the brain's hypothalamus. As psychologists researched more about the physiological mechanism and the brain, they realized that there was a clear link between this mechanism and emotion. Psychologists define emotion in terms of combinations of three dimensions although these can vary according to interpretation although there are 6 universal emotions proposed by Ekman et al. which can be recognized universally as they are all expressed facially in the same way despite individual and cultural differences. ...read more.

Middle

who observed that male adults who had spinal cord injuries and suffered autonomic nervous system damage had significant changes in the nature and intensity of certain emotional experiences including anger and fear. Research has demonstrated that many parts of the brain are specifically involved in the expression of different emotions. E.g. the frontal cortex and the limbic system are centres of aggression and fear. Researchers also found that people with emotions such as phobias may have a dysfunction in their prefrontal cortex which is then difficult to undo. Many hormones are involved in emotion, e.g. androgens are involved in aggression. An experiment which clearly shows the relation between emotion and biological changes is the one conducted by Valins and Laird where false feedback paradigms of posters still created an increase in heart rate of the participants. Emotions consist of a conscious experience as well as physiological and neurological reactions which are either voluntary or involuntary. Sometimes when a strong emotion is recalled, such as fear, the same physiological changes occur which were present at the time of the emotion-this was theorized by LeDoux and depends on how strong the emotion was and how it was stored in the memory. ...read more.

Conclusion

Most of the emotions have similar physiological changes such as increase heart rate, increase in temperature and possibly sweating. Researchers such as Levenson et al. have even identified a small number of fairly reliable differences in patterns in the nervous system when negative emotions (anger, fear etc) are compared to positive emotions (happiness). Even stress which can be considered as an emotion is related to the physiological mechanism as a large amount of stress can cause health related problems such as high blood pressure, ulcers and heart attacks. This is because the body reacts to emotions such as stress where the autonomic nervous system is activated in a process called the alarm reaction in the general adaptations syndrome. In conclusion, there is a lot of evidence that supports the relation between emotions and physiological mechanism although it has been argued against by a few psychologists. Many of the theories have been altered as psychologists study other theories trying to come up with more accurate results. After researching, psychologists have realised that many of the emotions not only create physiological changes but are caused by the body including the brain, the nervous system and the endocrine system. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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